The author of the international bestseller Happiness makes a passionate case for altruismand why we need it now more than ever.
In Happiness, Matthieu Ricard demonstrated that true happiness is not tied to fleeting moments or sensations, but is an enduring state of soul rooted in mindfulness and compassion for others. Now he turns his lens from the personal to the global, with a rousing argument that altruismgenuine concern for the well-being of otherscould be the saving grace of the 21st century. It is, he believes, the vital thread that can answer the main challenges of our time: the economy in the short term, life satisfaction in the mid-term, and environment in the long term. Ricard's message has been taken up by major economists and thinkers, including Dennis Snower, Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz, and George Soros.
Matthieu Ricard makes a robust and passionate case for cultivating altruistic love and compassion as the best means for simultaneously benefitting ourselves and our society. It's a fresh outlook on an ardent struggleand one that just might make the world a better place.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author, translator, and photographer. He is the author of several books including The Monk and the Philosopher, a dialogue with his father; The Quantum and the Lotus, a dialogue with astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan; Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill; and Why Meditate? His books have been translated into over twenty languages. He has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years. Four million people have viewed his TED talk on happiness.
Table of Contents
I What Is Altruism?
1 The Nature of Altruism 15
2 Extending Altruism 24
3 What Is Empathy? 39
4 From Empathy to Compassion in a Neuroscience Laboratory 56
5 Love, Supreme Emotion 65
6 The Accomplishment of a Twofold Benefit, Our Own and Others' 76
7 Self-Interested Altruism and Generalized Reciprocity 83
8 Selfless Altruism 89
9 The Banality of Good 94
10 Altruistic Heroism 103
11 Unconditional Altruism 110
12 Beyond Imitations, True Altruism: An Experimental Investigation 120
13 The Philosophical Arguments Against Universal Selfishness 137
II The Emergence of Altruism
14 Altruism in Theories of Evolution 151
15 Maternal Love, Foundation for Extended Altruism? 171
16 The Evolution of Cultures 177
17 Altruistic Behavior Among Animals 183
18 Altruism Among Children 208
19 Prosocial Behavior 225
III Cultivating Altruism
20 Can We Change? 239
21 Training the Mind: What the Cognitive Sciences Have to Say 247
22 How to Cultivate Altruism: Meditations on Altruistic Love, Compassion, Joy, and Impartiality 260
IV Contrary Forces
23 Egocentrism and Crystallization of the Ego 271
24 The Spread of Individualism and Narcissism 281
25 The Champions of Selfishness 299
26 Having Hatred or Compassion for Yourself 314
27 The Shortfall of Empathy 322
28 At the Origin of Violence: Devaluing the Other 339
29 The Natural Repugnance to Kill 374
30 Dehumanizing the Other: Massacres and Genocides 388
31 Has War Always Existed? 412
32 The Decline of Violence 426
33 The Instrumentalization of Animals: A Moral Aberration 455
34 Backfire: Effects of the Meat Industry on Poverty, Environment, and Health 470
35 Institutionalized Selfishness 480
V Building a More Altruistic Society
36 The Virtues of Cooperation 515
37 An Enlightened Education 532
38 Fighting Inequality 552
39 Toward a Caring Economy 563
40 Voluntary, Joyous Simplicity 604
41 Altruism for the Sake of Future Generations 616
42 Sustainable Harmony 657
43 Local Commitment, Global Responsibility 675
Conclusion: Daring Altruism 690
Karuna-Shechen: Altruism in Action 699
Sources for Figures 833
Select Bibliography 837
What People are Saying About This
“This remarkable book is an extremely well-documented and elegantly argued plea for altruism, kindness, and compassion in order to address the primarily human-inflicted suffering and sorrow in this world. What is usually unknown or ignored is that altruism is a cultivatable skill, a way of being that can and needs to be chosen to optimize our well-being as both individuals and as a species. If you doubt that, just read this book. Even little snippets will blow your mind and inspire you, as Matthieu puts it, to change yourself and the world.” --Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses
Matthieu Ricard is an extraordinary human being, whose luminous presence and gentle voice have a surprising effect: they compel respect for his benign view of life and make routine cynicism impossible.
Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Thinking Fast and Slow
Matthieu Ricard is a genius for our times, a rare combination of scientific brilliance with the heart of a saint.
Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
Altruism is just what is needed to bring hope to those depressed by the violence, war, selfishness and corruption that surround us today. Matthieu Ricard provides convincing evidence based on both careful research and personal experience that altruism is an integral part of our nature with the desire to help others not only present in small children, but also in many animals. ALTRUISM addresses how these qualities can be cultivated and enhanced in the individual and how a more altruistic society is not only possible but essential if we care about the future. Matthieu, thank you for writing this book.
Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace, founder of Roots and Shoots, and noted author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If I had to select just one book to guide all of humankind on the pathway to a better world, this would be the book. Matthieu Ricard humbly observes and teaches that this transformation is readily attainable through altruistic compassion, a virtue already residing within each of us. We simply have to cultivate it, first within ourselves, then through our relationships, our communities and throughout the world. Much more than just a philosophical treatise, Ricard supports this compassionate vision with persuasive and reliable research in a broad array of subject matter, including but not limited to, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, history and economics. Ricard is not only profound, but his application of altruistic principles to the individual self and to the collective world, is profoundly simple. Potentially, this book is a seed to the creation of a better world. Read this book. Absorb its essence. Apply its principles. And assist in the growth of a kinder, gentler and happier world.